The Lantern Festival
The mid-autumn festival is one of Hong kong’s biggest celebrations. Its purpose is to thank the moon for generous harvests. The festival occurs on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, hence changing date every year.
Several legends are connected to this festival:
People say that the beautiful Chang O, wife of the Divine Archer, flew into the sky after accidentally swallowing a magic potion kept by her husband. She chose the moon for residence to stay close to her husband and irradiates the earth with a silver glowing light on each anniversary. On the day of the mid-autumn festival, it is current practise to eat moon cakes which are made of lotus and sesame seeds and egg yokes. The egg in the middle represents the moon when the cake is cut opened.
Another legend narrates how the Mongols were prevented from invading China after a secret message was hidden in one of the cakes warning its inhabitants to get ready for the attack.
One hundred years ago, Tai Hang’s villagers organised a lion dance, 67 meter long and involving a multitude of incense sticks, to keep away bad spirits which harmed their village. As it was successful, the dance takes place every year in Hong Kong (this tradition is purely from Hong Kong).
HONG KONG A LA CARTE wishes you a Happy Mid-Autumn Day!
To learn more about the moon cakes, click here.